Participants in the OECS watch-listing workshop
CASTRIES, St Lucia -- A second batch of Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) border control officers has just ended discussions on watch-listing of subjects of interest at a two day training workshop aimed at strengthening the region’s border security operations.
Watch-listing is a system used by law enforcement agencies for monitoring and tracking the movement of subjects of interest, criminals or persons who are considered a threat to national security when traversing into and out of a member state.
A major aspect of the training was the use of the CARICOM Interactive Border Security (CARIBSEC) system. CARIBSEC is a technological tool used for watch-listing subjects of interest. This web-based application is used by customs, immigration and police departments in the region. Specialists also describe it as an inconspicuous intelligence system that facilitates passive detection and tracking of persons of interest.
The CARIBSEC watch-list application is developed to give member states the capability to enter and maintain their own data without third party involvement.
All the participants who work in the intelligence/enforcement Units in their respective member states deemed the training to be very useful as they were actively engaged in the discussions aimed at enhancing their operations. Given the participant’s interest and desire to have access to CARIBSEC, it was agreed that the Joint Regional Communications Centre (JRCC) will write to heads of departments to seek formal authorization to grant participants individual access to the system.
Representatives of the OECS Commission and the JRCC underscored the importance of collecting and sharing data, especially in the context of the OECS Economic Union which promotes the principle of free movement of people. Data sharing is also of critical importance to facilitate ease of travel for tourists visiting the region. The training was facilitated by the Barbados-based Joint Regional Communications Centre.
The JRCC is a sub-agency of IMPACS, an institution of CARICOM dedicated to enhancing the individual and collective law enforcement and border security capacity of CARICOM member states, which analyses and disseminates passenger information to support border security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies (LEAs). The JRCC provides assistance to member states in detecting and monitoring persons of interest /criminal elements attempting to transit the region.
Training ran from June 11-12, 2014. Participants comprised five immigration officers from Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda; the British Virgin Islands; Montserrat; and Saint Lucia; Customs officers from Antigua and Barbuda and Montserrat respectively. Support from the European Union is being provided under the project, Economic Integration and Trade of the OECS region.
That project administered by the OECS Commission, is financed by the 10th EDF regional programme, and seeks to contribute to the establishment of the OECS Economic Union as a single economic and financial space through the development of a harmonized policy, legislative, regulatory and administrative framework, and the enhancement of the institutional capacity and export competitiveness of OECS economies.